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The Man from Beijingby Henning Mankell
Synopses & Reviews
The acclaimed author of the Kurt Wallander mysteries, writing at the height of his powers, now gives us an electrifying stand-alone global thriller.
January 2006. In the Swedish hamlet of Hesjovallen, nineteen people have been massacred. The only clue is a red ribbon found at the scene.
Judge Birgitta Roslin has particular reason to be shocked: Her grandparents, the Andrens, are among the victims, and Birgitta soon learns that an Andren family in Nevada has also been murdered. She then discovers the nineteenth-century diary of an Andren ancestor — a gang master on the American transcontinental railway — that describes brutal treatment of Chinese slave workers. The police insist that only a lunatic could have committed the Hesjovallen murders, but Birgitta is determined to uncover what she now suspects is a more complicated truth.
The investigation leads to the highest echelons of power in present-day Beijing, and to Zimbabwe and Mozambique. But the narrative also takes us back 150 years into the depths of the slave trade between China and the United States — a history that will ensnare Birgitta as she draws ever closer to solving the Hesjovallen murders.
"A massacre in the remote Swedish village of Hesjvallen propels this complex, if diffuse, stand-alone thriller from Mankell (The Pyramid). Judge Birgitta Roslin, whose mother grew up in the village, comes across diaries from the house of one of the 19 mostly elderly victims kept by Jan Andrn, an immigrant ancestor of Roslin's. The diaries cover Andrn's time as a foreman on the building of the transcontinental railroad in the United States. An extended flashback charts the journey of a railroad worker, San, who was kidnapped in China and shipped to America in 1863. After finding evidence linking a mysterious Chinese man to the Hesjvallen murders, Roslin travels to Beijing, suspecting that the motive for the horrific crime is rooted in the past. While each section, ranging in setting from the bleak frozen landscape of northern Sweden to modern-day China bursting onto the global playing field, compels, the parts don't add up to a fully satisfying whole. Author tour. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"A sweepingly ambitious tale of corruption, injustice and revenge that ranges over three continents and 140 years....Breathtakingly bold in its scope." Kirkus Reviews
"[D]elivers plenty of suspense and a compelling protagonist....[Mankell] shows why he remains a must-read for anyone interested in the international crime novel." Booklist
"Most compelling at the beginning and end, this sprawling novel becomes a leisurely examination of history's injustices and consequences....Mankell humanizes the earnest, even meddlesome Roslin, so that the reader can't help but wish her well." Library Journal
"Fans of Mankell's earlier Kurt Wallander mystery series will enjoy the intellectual provocations of the new book....
"[T]he work of a writer with the imagination, brains, resources, and joinerly craft needed to make thoughtful, challenging, exciting, artistic novels....In its appalling, invigorating sweep, Henning Mankell's The Man from Beijing is flavored with the grating tang of time's passage itself." Philadelphia Inquirer
What if you were arrested for a crime you didnt commit—but had to prove your innocence without revealing anything about the crime that you did? A thrilling new stand-alone novel from Norways Queen of Crime, “a truly great writer.” (Jo Nesbo)
Riktor doesnt like the way the policeman storms into his home without even knocking. He doesnt like the arrogant way he walks around the house, taking note of its contents. The policeman doesnt bother to explain why hes there, and Riktor is too afraid to ask. He knows hes guilty of a terrible crime and hes sure the policeman has found him out.
But when the policeman finally does confront him, Riktor freezes. The man is arresting him for something totally unexpected. Riktor doesnt have a clear conscience, but the crime hes being accused of is one he certainly didnt commit. Can he clear his name without further incriminating himself?
This is a gripping, mind-bending stand-alone novel from “a truly great writer” (Jo Nesbø).
About the Author
Henning Mankell is the prizewinning author of the Kurt Wallander mysteries, which were adapted into a PBS television series starring Kenneth Branagh. His novels have been translated into forty languages and have sold thirty million copies worldwide. He is the first winner of the Ripper Award (the new European Crime Fiction Star Award) and has also received the Glass Key and Golden Dagger awards. He divides his time between Sweden and Mozambique.
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